The “right way” to do outbound prospecting has been written about more times than cold calling has been pronounced DEAD. Which is a lot if you’re new to the game.
I’m going to add my two cents here with our current view on how to optimize outbound. But as with everything we do, we reserve the right to do a complete 180 on this at some point in the future... we’re students, not masters.
With that caveat, here it is.
You need three sequences per ICP.
I know that sounds like putting outbound through the complicator but hear me out.
In each of your ICPs you’ll have 3 kinds of people. The Answerer, The Socialiser and The Nada.
So who are these people?
The Answerer - This is someone who answers their phone whenever someone calls. Whether it’s their best friend, their Mom or a number they don’t recognise, they pick it up.
The Socializer - This is someone who is active on LinkedIn. They like and comment on posts and post their own content.
The Nada - They do none of the things we listed above. They never answer calls and they have no recent activity on LinkedIn.
Bear in mind the first two categories are not mutually exclusive, someone could be both The Socializer and The Answerer. If this is the case, we default to treating them as The Answerer first (I’ll explain why later).
So why do we want to group our prospects into one of these three categories.
Because it informs how we’ll reach out to them.
Let’s take a step back and look at how most organisations treat sequences at the moment.
Everyone within a given ICP is treated the same.
There’s a predetermined pattern of outreach that will take place, regardless of whether the person answers the phone, is active on LinkedIn, or is neither. Probably the most famous example of this is the Agoge Sequence by Sam Nelson at Outreach. Here’s what they prescribe:
There are hundreds of other examples of this but they all rely on the same theory. That is touchpoints over every available channel is better than concentrated effort in a single channel.
The problem with this approach is that a lot of the effort in this type of sequence is wasted.
Let’s say the prospect enrolled in this sequence was The Nada. Didn’t answer calls and wasn’t active on LinkedIn.
In this scenario we’ve wasted 8 of the 15 touches we’ve attempted. And to exacerbate the problem, those are all manual touches that take time out of a reps day.
So what’s the alternative?
Know which of the three categories your prospects fit in before reaching out.
Once you know the answer to that you can reach out to them in the right way and save a ton of wanted time.
I might provide example sequence for each of the three if enough of you request it, but as a general rule:
The Answerer - Call heavy sequences - they answer the phone so speak to them, a conversation provides the best chance for qualification and conversion
The Socializer - LinkedIn heavy sequences - not connect and pitch, but engage with theme overtime, these people value their communities so find a way to contribute before you make an ask
The Nada - Email heavy sequences - use email first because it provides the best opportunity for reach at scale.
Let me know if you’d like me to break this down further.